United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN, CHIEF JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on a Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 43] filed by Defendants Parkview Hospital,
Inc. and Lakisha Houston (“the Defendants”). The
Plaintiff, Tyquan Stewart, filed his Third Amended Complaint
against the Defendants on November 23, 2016 [ECF No. 28],
alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
Title III (“the ADA”), the Emergency Medical
Treatment and Active Labor Act (“the EMTALA”),
negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
On August 25, 2017, the Defendants filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 43] as to the Plaintiff's claims under
the ADA and EMTALA and his negligence claim. The Plaintiff
responded on September 13, 2017 [ECF No. 45], and the
Defendants replied [ECF No. 48] on September 26, 2017. This
matter is now fully briefed and ripe for review.
Plaintiff is a thirty-six-year-old African-American male
suffering from PTSD, schizophrenia, and depression. Parkview
Behavioral Health (“PBH”) is an inpatient and
outpatient psychiatric hospital located approximately one
mile from Parkview Randallia Hospital. PBH does not have an
Emergency Department, nor does it provide twenty-four-hour
emergent medical care. Patients who present to PBH requiring
emergent psychiatric care are evaluated at the Emergency
Department at Parkview Randallia Hospital. When an individual
presents to PBH after hours seeking psychiatric care, the
on-duty security officer instructs the individual to go to
the Emergency Department at Parkview Randallia Hospital.
December 20, 2015, the Plaintiff presented himself after
hours to PBH and requested to be admitted because he was
experiencing suicidal thoughts. Previously, the Plaintiff had
been treated at PBH for symptoms of schizophrenia, including
delusional thoughts, paranoia, and depressive mood. The
on-duty security officer, Lakisha Houston, directed the
Plaintiff to the Emergency Department at Parkview Randallia
Hospital for immediate medical assistance. The Plaintiff
subsequently left and drove his vehicle into an apartment
complex in an attempt to commit suicide.
approximately 3:00 AM, officers from the Fort Wayne Police
Department were dispatched to the scene. Upon their arrival,
responding officers overheard the Plaintiff repeatedly
stating, “I just wanted to die, that's all I'm
trying to do is kill myself, the voices are telling me to do
this” and stating that he believed that someone was
trying to kill him. The Plaintiff was subsequently taken to
the Emergency Department at Parkview Hospital's main
campus. Due to his multiple suicidal statements and agitated
behavior, the Plaintiff was detained at the hospital until
December 24, 2015.
the incident on December 20, 2015, PBH re-examined its policy
regarding after-hours presentment by individuals seeking
emergency attention and instituted a new practice whereby PBH
would arrange for such a person to be transported from PBH to
the Emergency Department at Parkview Randallia Hospital.
judgment is proper where the evidence of record shows that
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986). The moving party bears the initial burden of
informing the Court of the basis for its motion and
identifying those portions of the record it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Id. at 323. The burden then shifts to the non-movant
to “go beyond the pleadings” to cite evidence of
a genuine factual dispute that precludes summary judgment.
Id. at 324. “[A] court has one task and one
task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record,
whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a
trial.” Waldridge v. Am. Heochst Corp., 24
F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994). If the non-movant does not
come forward with evidence that would reasonably permit the
finder of fact to find in its favor on a material issue, then
the Court must enter summary judgment against it.
Defendants assert that summary judgment is warranted because:
(1) the Plaintiff has failed to establish a prima facie case
under Title III of the ADA, (2) PBH was not subject to the
EMTALA and that the Plaintiff should have known of the
separate hospital campus with a dedicated emergency
department, and (3) the Court lacks jurisdiction over the
Plaintiff's negligence claims, which must proceed before
the Indiana Department of Insurance pursuant to Indiana Code
§ 34-18-8-4. The Court considers each argument in turn.
Title III of the ADA
III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of
disability in places of public accommodation. Specifically,
“[n]o individual shall be discriminated against on the
basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the
goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or
accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any
person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place
of public accommodation.” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a).
“The core meaning of this provision, plainly enough, is
that the owner or operator of a store, hotel, restaurant,
dentist's office, travel agency, theater, Web site, or
other facility . . . that is open to the public cannot
exclude disabled persons from entering the facility.”
Doe v. Mut. Of Omaha Ins., Co., 179 F.3d 557, 559
(7th Cir. 1999). A prima facie case under Title III of the
ADA consists of three elements: (1) the plaintiff was
disabled within the meaning of the ADA; (2) the defendant
owned, leased, or operated a place of public accommodation;
and (3) the plaintiff was discriminated against on the basis
of his or her disability. 42 U.S.C. § 12188.
includes the “failure to make reasonable modifications
in policies, practices, or procedures, when such
modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services,
facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to
individuals with disabilities” and the “failure
to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no
individual with a disability is excluded, denied services,
segregated or otherwise treated differently than other
individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and
services.” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii)-(iii).
There is no dispute that the Plaintiff was disabled within
the meaning of ...